Waterways monitoring

Why do we monitor waterways?

Council regularly monitors water quality and the ecological health of waterways throughout the region as part of the Stream Health Monitoring Program. Waterway monitoring is an integral part of Council's Total Water Cycle Management Plan and informs water quality guidelines and objectives.

Waterway monitoring data is used by Council to:

  • Improve water quality and stream health
  • Maintain aquatic biodiversity
  • Protect waterways of high ecological value
  • Sustainably manage public water resources
  • Make effective management decisions
  • Reduce the number of pollution hot spots
  • Limit land use changes that impact significantly on streams, including erosion, siltation, and the impact of pollutants

There are no natural freshwater lakes in the region. The reservoirs at Lake Kurwongbah and Lake Samsonvale are monitored by Seqwater.

Stream Health Monitoring Program

More than 1,000 kilometres of freshwater streams are monitored at over 160 sites on a four-yearly cycle.

What is monitored?

Freshwater streams are diverse ecosystems governed by complex biological, chemical and physical processes. Consequently, several complementary indicators are required to assess the overall ecological health of a stream, including biological indicators and physical/chemical indicators.

Biological indicators

Benthic macroinvertebrates are excellent indicators of stream health. Council surveys the types of species that are present and their relative density, and records whether a stream has rare and locally significant macroinvertebrate species of high biodiversity value.

Physical and chemical indicators

Physical and chemical indicators of waterway health include the concentration of suspended solids and nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus. Council measures the concentration of substances and contaminants (if present) in the water at the time of sampling.

Mapping stream health

Freshwater stream health throughout the region is shown in the Freshwater Stream Health Map [PDF 890KB]

The 2031 target for freshwater stream health throughout the region is shown in the Target Freshwater Stream Health Map [PDF 840KB]

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